During his testimony Thursday, Jeff McMahan made repeated references to taking action or being unaware of alleged improprieties until “after it came out in the paper.”
In some cases, his memory was mistaken. However, jurors don’t know that.
A couple examples:
- In answer to a question from his attorney, Rand C. Eddy, McMahan said he was unaware of an alleged effort to stall a permit request for a new abstract company in McCurtain County until he read it in the paper. However, that matter didn’t surface until last week, when witnesses testified about it at the auditor’s trial. A new company would have broken up a monopoly by admitted co-conspirator Steve Phipps.
- Under cross-examination, McMahan said he told a campaign worker for his 2006 campaign not to accept any money from so-called “Phipps people.” The reason, he said, was that the media had begun reporting possible straw contributions involving Phipps to various political campaigns, including McMahan’s 2002 campaign. However, that information didn’t become public until March 2007.
Prosecutors didn’t confront the auditor about those time lapses.